The Ungetaway

While driving down the road, I decided to stop at this bar in the nearby town of _______ (population 65). The place looked like it had been lifted out of “Ghost Town” in Knotts Berry Farm; only it was for real. I inquired if they served dinner, and the barkeeper/owner looked at me like I was the first person to ask that question in 10 years. Then he said that he was, in fact, just getting ready to fire up the grill.

I began to wander around the room and look at all of the stuff hanging on the walls, when I noticed that along one of the back walls was a long floor-to-ceiling cage. I went over to the cage and saw that it was occupied by a boa constrictor. Then I also noticed a terrified skinny half-starved 14-week old (about) white rabbit waiting to be eaten. Her ear was partially chewed up and her nose had a big cut on it. I noticed a padlock on the cage door, but the door was itself unstable and could easily be bent. I rapidly walked outside and threw up; and then I began to work on a plan.

My original impulse was to walk back in there, real macho-like and rip the door off the cage, reach in, and liberate the rabbit. I started to visualize how it was going to go: I saw myself stomping out of the bar, with this half-starved little rabbit in my arms, and I saw myself walking out in the gravel parking lot to my getaway car. And then I realized that my getaway car was a 1969 VW bug with 140,000 miles on it and that the tires alone on every other vehicle in the parking lot were bigger than my entire car. I further realized that even if I started my car, floored it, and popped the clutch, the engine would probably stall in the gravel.

What I ended up doing was walking up to the barkeeper and saying that I’d like to buy his rabbit. At first he couldn’t figure out what I meant, and then he said, “Yes sir, that rabbit costs $14.”

The twang in his voice sounded like one of Burt Reynolds’ friends in the movie “Deliverance.” He was a real businessman. I left the bar with the rabbit and witout having eaten dinner.

by Rick Jacobel

House Rabbit Journal Volume III, Number 7, Spring 1996


An interesting sideline to the story of the rabbit I rescued from the boa constrictor is that as part of a trauma therapy that I used to heal her, I would give her a metal ball of rings which she used to pick up in her mouth, then growl, shake her head, and fling back at me as hard as she possibly could. I would catch the ball and gently roll it back to her. She would then pick it up and do the same thing again. After about a year, her anger subsided and the exercise became just a fun game of catch.

A testament to the healing that has taken place is that today, out of the three house rabbits I live with, she is the only one who licks my face as a sign of affection.